Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


My first baby just turned 4! It is hard to believe he was this little practically yesterday! Caedmon is determined (stubborn) and opinionated, and he thrives on routine. He loves his siblings and doesn't want either of them to miss out on any special treats. It is fun that he is old enough to play simple games with now. He likes to help with all the chores: dishes, laundry, cleaning. He is very good at playing by himself, and he has always been a wonderful eater! Next to tackling with Dad I would say his favorite thing to do is have books read to him. Maybe he'll learn to read this year! He got to be a ring bearer for Aunt Martie and Uncle Rusty's wedding in June! Aunt Sarah made the outfit, of course!
The traditional birthday waffles and tea.

Now that he is four, he thinks he is big stuff! The first thing he said to me on his birthday was, "Now I can crack the eggs!" So for his big party he got to crack the eggs! He also has to leave his blanket in his room now and use the bathroom without ANY help, too. So big!

We invited some friends over, but most of them were sick and couldn't come. Grandpa and Grandma came and some friends from church. We had a great night, but then after Caedmon went to bed, he threw up the rest of the night! Of course we gave all our guests the stomach flu as well. I hope he is not always sick on his birthday every year! Happy Birthday, Caedmon! It is so fun to watch you grow!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Parenting can have the highest highs and the lowest lows. On Sunday Caedmon decided he didn't want to go to his Sunday School class for seemingly no reason. It turned into the biggest parenting challenge/showdown Jason and I have faced yet. Without going into detail, we were befuddled and at our wits' end. Even after discipline and follow-up, we were unsure whether we did the best by him.

All this to say, I have been hyper aware of who he is these days; and I realized that he has grown up in a lot of ways since I last noticed. He is obviously not perfect, but he is a good kid, and he does a lot of things right. He will be 4 in a couple weeks, and I was thinking, he has matured exponentially since this time last year.

Today we were at an open gym at a gymnastics facility. Caedmon was one of the biggest kids there; and within a few minutes, he had a whole string of kids following his every move, jumping on trampolines, jumping into the foam block pit, going on balance beams, racing across the floor. Jonas was in the ranks, of course; he is used to obeying his brother.

This was the first time I have ever seen Caedmon take initiative in an unfamiliar environment like that. Usually he is definitely on the shy/cautious side of things. He doesn't have to be a leader, but I was glad/sad to see him pull away from some apron strings.

Another example: I had told Caedmon not to play with this glitter we have, but to put it away in the other room. Apparentely he couldn't handle himself and opened it on his way to the other room. I wouldn't have found the mess for awhile, but he came up to me and said, "I'm sorry, Mom. I was wrong. I'll clean it up!" YES!

We were at a busy playplace the other day. We have worked very hard on being content and grateful when it's time to leave special places instead of whiny. As we were walking out, WITHOUT prompting, Caedmon loudly said, "Thank you, Mom! That was really fun!" My heart melted with pride.

Caedmon is really excited to go to Carney next weekend for Thanksgiving. Today he said, "I love to go to Carney for pancakes on vacation. Carney is a REALLY good place to eat pancakes!" (Grandma serves pancakes every Saturday and we love the tradition-and the pancakes!)

Every morning we brainstorm 3 people/requests we can pray for. The boys each choose one and I take the leftover. For several weeks now the boys always want to pray for (fight over) Grandpa's go-cart with a broken chain. I suggested maybe Caedmon could pray for a person, so now he says, "Dear God, help Grandpa to go get a chain for the go-cart. I love you, God. Amen."

He is learning to tell time, sort of. He has been good with the o'clocks and the :30's, but Jason was trying to teach him "quarter past" and "quarter to." Now he says, "It's quarterback 3!" Must be football season. His new catch phrase for everything is, "that's crazy!" Love this guy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

3 Months!

She's 3 months old already! Yes, I am sad, but she is SUCH a delight these days! She has started giggling! She loves her naps, her brothers, her dad, anything! She doesn't mind when her diapers leak through or she gets climbed on. Sleeping 11-12 hours, Angel Baby! She loves the brothers!
My favorite time with her is early morning. She gets me up at 6:00 and we play games and do devotions together. One of the first times I haven't minded getting up early!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Anytime we go shopping, Caedmon finds all the little pink things and says, "Oh, that is just too cute!" He certainly adjusted to a little sister quickly!

Caedmon watched a movie recently called "Sid the Science Kid". Since then, he has been measuring anything and everything. Including Elsie. His measurement was, "She's 11 years!" I would say, that is just too cute!

Another room painted!

The boys' room was cutsey with lots of character before, but also a drab off white color. Actually, the main reason this project took priority was because the previous owners had a bunch of ugly stickers that they had half-heartedly tried to get off, which left the walls looking dirty where the stickers weren't, and half-peeled stickers in other places. (not pictured) So Mom and I painted it a fresh white when she was here, then I added a rust red on the built-ins with brown handles. The only thing left to paint is the thin strip of molding along the ceiling (brown), which is a nightmare of a painting job. So we'll see who tackles that. (No we don't let them watch TV in their room, only a movie during some Bible studies :-)

I can't help adding a cute pic of our Little Thing. (bow by Sarah!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Boys' tidbits

After a long hard day, I am most thankful for laughter. These little munchkins always manage to make me smile. I recently realized that my brain is leaving me and I can't remember a cute story even by the time Jason gets home from work. So I am going to try to blog some of these happenings so I don't forget!
Today I took the kids to Burger King in the afternoon to get their wiggles out. I bought a drink and the boys were hopping around so excited to beg for part of my pop. Jonas then said in a loud voice, "But I'm not going to pee my bed tonight!!"
My folks were up for the weekend and my mom was reading while I nursed Elsie. Caedmon marched in from outside and declared: "Now. Who would like to get the green stroller out of the garage for me?!" Oooh, pick me, pick me!
We have our kids call adults Mr. and Mrs., and decided those terms of respect should apply to any adult, even celebrities and atheletes. It is hilarious to hear Caedmon and Jonas cheer for the Vikings' football players: "Go Mr. Favre! Come on Mr. Peterson!" Their favorite Christian music artist from the radio is Mr. Mac. They beg us to youtube Toby Mac's songs, then dance around with their guitars rocking out, singing the backup voices. I should post a video! Little Jonas who is about 13 inches tall sings/yells "I don't want to gain the whole world, and loothe my thoul!"
We got a neat Noah's Ark made out of popsicle sticks from Uncle Karl and Aunt Mary, and the boys love playing with it with their animals. Lately I have seen matchbox cars also make their way up the ramp into the ark. I overheard Caedmon telling the kangaroo if he said something one more time he was going to get a spanking.
Tonight at dinner I was making hash out of leftover ham. Caedmon said, "Ooo I love chicken!" I said, "It's ham." C: "Yeah, I like ham, but Jonas doesn't like it." (they are not supposed to say they don't like food that is for dinner) There is a pause, then Jonas says, "But it's not my favorite thing!...I didn't say gross."
Caedmon often asks me when he will be allowed to do certain things. I have to think hard about my answers, because he will often recite the ages I have already given him. "You can only cut with sharp knives when you're 5, so then you'll be really big. But, Jonas, when you're 4 you can crack the eggs. I can drive the tractor when I'm 12 and I can drive the go-cart when I'm 6." My favorite, "When I'm as big as Daddy I don't need help when I go poopy." I certainly hope not!
Caedmon loves to get out of taking naps or even lying down during rest time. It has been a good lesson showing him when he's crabby later in the day because he chose not to take a nap when I recommended, but didn't necessarily enforce rest time. Now his catch phrase as he's eating lunch is, "I don't think I'm going to take a nap today. I'm going to control myself!" I smile and think to myself, good luck, kid. I am STILL learning to control myself!
Tonight the boys were in the bathroom and I heard Caedmon say to Jonas, "You'd better not because maybe Mom will hear you." Obviously, I investigated. Neither of my boys have ever defaced property or had issues with pens and pencils, but Jonas had scribbled all over the bathroom door with pen. I spanked him and made him scrub it with a magic eraser. After a few minutes, I heard him gravely lament, "We ONLY write on paper. Only paper!" Lesson learned!
P.S. The pen came off the door. :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Color

My favorite season is here again! The colors weren't as vibrant as last year, but still amazing. My toddlers were even more into the leaves!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


James and Sarah and nephew John got to come for a visit. Oh what a great time we had! I really wish Sarah lived so much closer because we are good friends. We didn't do too much out of the ordinary, but enjoyed a lot of nice walks and hikes. I didn't get a good picture of James (he hides from the camera), but he ended up watching the toddlers outside for most of his vacation. THANK YOU UNCLE JAMES! Sarah practically did all my cooking for me. It was MY vacation! Here are Sarah and Elsie. They like each other. Elsie doesn't have a bow in her hair *gasp*! The best cousin shot I got from my attempts. My boys liked telling John what to do and what was fun.
He is so cute!

We hiked up our "mountain" together. Three adults and four young kids, we were proud of ourselves! The view from the top of the tower:

My little bubbies climbing rocks with Ant Sarah. She is so much fun!

Come back soon, family!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Elsie

A good friend of mine gave us a screamin deal on professional newborn shots of Elsie, so I had to share some of her work! Thanks, Jessie! I love them because she has already changed so much and I want to remember her tiny!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tick Tock

Time, time, time. I used to have so much of it!

I know I increased my parenting duties by 50% lately by adding Elsie. Still, it is incredible to me how BUSY I seem to be! I don't know why I'm blogging about it, to complain? to ask for advice? to get empathy from others who feel so busy?!

My friend pointed out that with a newborn, 5-6 hours of your day at least are spent just nursing, burping, and changing. I sure notice those 5 hours!

I don't think 3 kids is any harder than 2 really, if you had like 30 hours in a day! I am not pulling out my hair with the chaos, I simply get to the end of the day and am unable to name one solitary thing I accomplished besides "doing the day." Are my expectations too high?

Things I would LIKE to do everyday:

-spend time with God alone (~30 min) and PRAY (any amount of time!)
-exercise (~30 min)
-make Jason's lunch (10 min)
-make breakfast for kids (10 min)
-clean up breakfast (10 min)
-Bible time with kids (30 min)
-get the kids dressed (15 min)
-shower and look presentable (would like ~30 min)
-make phone calls for appts./sisters/friends (~30 min)
-take pictures of kids (5 min)
-do "school" time with kids: crafts, cooking, puzzles, playing, etc. (30 min)
-make lunch (10 min)
-clean up lunch (10 min)
-read to kids (15 min)
-nap the kids and pick up house
-E-mail, facebook, blog, etc. (~30-60 min)
-prepare dinner (30-60 min)
-get kids out for a walk (20 min)
-clean up dinner-sweep (15 min)
-hang out with Jason/family (30-60 min)
-read by myself! (20 min)
-go to bed!

I'd also LIKE to add one or more significant "extra" to each day like:

-extra baking
-cleaning house
-sorting clothes/piles/boxes
-meeting friends for playdates
-Bible study
-having someone over for dinner
-printing pictures/baby books etc.
-serving at the church (60 min)

I am managing ok, and some days feel less guilty than others. It just seems like the minute I think I am done I remember: Elsie is hungry, the laundry just beeped, Jonas needs help putting his shoes on, I need to get meat out to thaw, Caedmon wants me to set up a lego house for him, Elsie needs to eat!, I need to look for a recipe, someone needs a new diaper, Jason's coming home soon and our house is a tornado, someone needs a bandaid, Elsie is STARVING, Elsie wants to be held, I promised Caedmon I'd play a game, I want to talk to my faraway friends, oops someone just talked back and requires immediate attention ETCETERA etcetera etcetera!

I know this is such a short phase in life and I will definitely miss this particular busyness. I love my job! I am trying to shift my focus to serving God in each pan I wash, each and every diaper I change, each disciplining moment, and to treasure the precious memories along the way. I love a challenge but it is harder to pat myself on the back for productivity anymore. haha And I even have a DISHWASHER! Does anyone else feel this way?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chicken Soup

Ok, here I go. Determined to write my Laura Ingalls post. Since I am a big fan, and I like ALLY'S ( idea to pool the crafty-homemade-frontier ideas we use in our families, I will do it. I did always want to be Laura. And make fun of Nellie!

The first problem is, do I do anything original that is clever? I have dabbled in a lot of things, but certainly don't consider myself an expert at many. I do cloth diapers and make my own laundry detergent, I use my clothesline and make bread and dried beans, know the basics of knitting and crocheting, but do I really have any unique idea to share?

The only thing I thought of that I learned just in the last couple years is cooking a chicken. I DO know how to cut off a chicken's head, scald the feathers, pluck the feathers, etc. from growing up in Africa. But what I mean is boiling the leftovers after cooking a whole chicken into the best soup EVER!

My mom always said that whole chickens are way cheaper per pound than say B/S chicken breasts. I don't know HOW much cheaper it is once you consider the bones, the inconvenience, and all the dark meat that isn't devoured as quickly as prime white meat. But a big roasted chicken dinner sure is good! It comes out really good in the crockpot, too. Very moist.

To make an unbeatable chicken soup, though, continue boiling all the bones that have been carved, for at least 12-24 hours! People say the marrow flavor and nutrients are extracted if you boil it for a long time in water. My friend even boils the chicken 3-4 days! Anyway the meat falls off the bones, the broth is rich and yummy, and some simmered veggies give you chicken soup that beats Grandma's.

Best part is the meat is "scavenged" off the part you usually throw away. If only I knew how to skin a buffalo, I could REALLY cook soup for a herd of Ingalls'. Imagine what a person could make out of buffalo pancreas!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Daddy and Elsie

I know I have gone picture crazy lately with the new girl in our house. But I don't see an end in sight. Here is Jason with the little muffin. He is quite taken with her! Bedtime storytime. They have so much fun!
Elsie's pretty taken with him, too!

Awwwww! I'm so glad my kids have such a great dad!

A little girl and her big brother

It has been really neat to see Caedmon fall in love with Elsie! He loves to be with her, tend to her, kiss her, protect her. Protect her? Yes, he is concerned about her getting bit by mosquitoes, accidentally eating crumbs on the floor, getting too cold. What he should be worried about is Jonas tripping over her!

Elsie got to join storytime with Dad!
So far Elsie loves him, too!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Princess Pose

I didn't know what to blog about, so I decided to share Elsie's sleeping pose. We tried diligently to swaddle her the first 3 nights home from the hospital, then we conceded that she just didn't like it! If you give her a chance, she will always end up in this diva pose with her arms above her head. I love it! She looks more boyish in neutral outfits. But she doesn't give a care!
Ah! I'm just too tired to play. Little snooze is in order. Baring my chubby legs.

Maybe she will be a ballerina...
My favorite part is Jason's purple blanket. : )

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Elsie's Birth Story

For everyone who loves labor stories like I do:

This was Sunday morning, in labor. Starting Thursday I had had terrible insomnia, taking 4 hours to fall asleep even though I was exhausted. I still didn't feel like labor was close though. Sunday morning I woke up at 3 a.m. wide-eyed. No contractions. I was very frustrated, but remembered at that point that the week before I had the boys, I also had suffered insomnia. Well maybe at least it was a good sign. At 5:00 a.m. I had a couple contractions with pain. I thought to myself, hmm, I'm not getting fooled this time. (A week before I had been up all night convinced I was in labor in a severe thunderstorm in a tent camping!) By 7:00 I thought maybe it was the real thing, so I did the tricks to tell; went on a long walk and took a hot shower. Both made the contractions worse. Betty, the boys, and Jason were up getting ready for church, and I didn't want to tell anyone, I just kept avoiding them for contractions. Finally about 9:00 I told Jason we probably weren't going to church. From then on I brought my ball chair up to my bedroom and labored by myself with headphones and fans on me. I would call Jason on the phone downstairs to bring me things, but I really wanted to be alone. At about 11:30 I needed Jason to be with me, but he was timing contractions and they were only 3-4 min apart. I was starting to lose control on some of them so I felt like I needed to go to the hospital, but was also expecting to be discouraged and only be at like 3cm. I threw up as we were leaving, and just walking into the hospital felt things getting far more intense. I remember the receptionist asking me dumb questions and I ignored her and let Jason answer. I leaned on the counter and told Jason I just wanted to stay there in the ER resting on the counter. :-) He wheeled me up to labor and delivery.

The nurse said I was at 7cm which was very encouraging. The next hour was the difficult transition, but I felt surprisingly calm. I told the nurse I thought it was time, and she went to get the doctor. As she walked back in the room, Elsie just came out. Panicked, the nurse flew to the gloves and pulled out a handful. The tech just pulled her sleeves over her hands and flung the surgical cloth off the instrument tray. The Dr. arrived and dashed over to the bed where he told me he hoped I wasn't HIV positive, as he cut the cord, etc. barehanded. Elsie was screaming and a beautiful little ball and I just couldn't stop telling Jason it was a girl! It was perfect! The cleanup took longer than anything else as they hadn't gotten all the right gear out!

We were extremely impressed with the hospital for the rest of our stay, talk about bells and whistles! A laptop for your use, jet tub in your room, a big snack room with 24 hours slushies, a celebration steak dinner with cheesecake and a rose, big brother buttons with Elsie's picture on them, "It's a girl" buttons with her footprint, a free photoshoot with multiple outfits and the CD of pictures. I tell ya, Saint Clare's hospital is the place to have a baby! We are all home and doing well. Everyone is in love, big-time. Here she is, August 15th, 2 days early, born at 1:24p.m. 7lbs 12 oz. 20 inches. Welcome to the Andersons, Elsie Joy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another day

Not too much to say. The boys are making my life so easy, yet still I feel lazy and exhausted! We try to take lots of walks and bikerides to get out.

The boys spend their whole days, literally, outside playing with all kinds of things. They love our backyard! Saturday they were outside probably for 8 hours! I am so spoiled and blessed! Lots of bugbites, today Jonas' eye had a bite that swelled it almost completely shut. Doesn't stop them from going back out though! I put them in long sleeves sometimes, spray them up, and let them go!

I just finished putting together a puzzle and Caedmon said, "Good job, Mom! Look Jonas, we can run our cars on it pretty soon!" I guess that's what puzzles are good for. Now they are playing cars on the puzzle, and green truck just asked forgiveness for being mean to the digger.

Jason wore a tank top for the first time tonight and I told them their daddy has big guns, and he has a muscle shirt on. Caedmon said, "I need a gun shirt!"

I don't know where they learned it, but the boys started potty talking and thinking it's funny to call things gross. That is the catch phrase, then giggling hysterically. I DID NOT TEACH THEM THIS! I feel like I spend my days telling them not to call food that God made gross. Jonas always comes back with something like, "but my stinky feet are GROSS. hahahahaha!" Boys!

Poor Caedmon's vocabulary comes completely from me, I am noticing! His newest phrases besides gross are "Here's the deal..." "What's the problem?" "No, Jonas, we DON'T ............"

Appologies for rather a boring blog post but the fam will enjoy catching up on the boys a bit.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Of community, pianos, and things

Our community had an annual festival with all sorts of fun things for kids, including a concert and fireworks. The boys enjoyed hanging out with good friend Shekinah on the bleachers. Here they are vying for room in our hammock.
My baby dropped last week and I can't believe how small I look now! She is definitely hiding! I still suffer heartburn and very sore bones, but it is nice to breathe and roll over again! 3 weeks and counting!

Finally, my inlaws brought the piano they've had in storage for us! A real one! I have really enjoyed playing it, and so have the boys! Now our music room is complete!